Chief Charlie Boyte's report for September 2014

Michael Boyle

Your volunteer firefighters were very busy in August sharpening their skills at training every Thursday night, putting in seven full days on technical rope rescue and completing more weekend training in first responder recertification.

Our volunteers have stepped up to meet every training challenge presented. PIFR is being challenged almost daily to maintain that training in an efficient and affordable way. That challenge is the impetus for the development of enhanced local training facilities. Thanks to some exceptional work by the fundraising committee we were able to enlist the support and leadership of the Robert L Conconi Foundation to meet that challenge.

The foundation provided a grant of $25,000 towards a new training facility and promised to match community donations, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $75,000. If we can accomplish this we will be able to fund all the work necessary to complete Phase 2 of this complex project. It is designed to meet the current and proposed standards for firefighter training and address a variety of other issues including water conservation and recycling, rainwater capture and the ability to maintain all our fire suppression and rescue skills without leaving the island.

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of this community and the way that generosity encourages our volunteers to improve themselves in the service of the community. The Nu to You provided a substantial boost to the fundraising effort with a generous donation of $25,000 and we are very grateful to all the folks there for this wonderful showing of support.

We have also received several large donations from individuals so the total including the Nu to You grant is just over $64,000. With just over a month to go in the matching grant campaign, we hope to take full advantage of the $75,000 offered in matching foundation funds. We intend to make that happen and hope the community will step up, just a little higher, to complete this piece of the fundraising drive. Our volunteers are stoked by the support shown and send their sincerest of thanks to all of you that have contributed to the project.

By the time the next Pender Post comes out I am sure that goal will be reached so I would like to recognise our fundraising team in this issue. That team has been nothing short of amazing planning and organizing events and they have been fun to work with to boot. Our thanks go to out to our Firefoxes: Mamik Johnson, Sandi Teramura, Kathy How, Katherine Pye, Esther Cummer, Diane Barber, Wendy MacDonald and all the people that have supported them including their spouses and friends; Shannon McConchie and Brigitte Prochaska who developed the printed materials; and, Sergei Petrov for his work on our web site.

Lt. Sandy Johnson deserves special recognition. He has written what I am sure seems like a million grant applications, demonstrated excellence in developing a professional and efficient proposal and presentations, and essentially spearheaded the work and development of a robust training ground plan. I continue to be amazed daily by the commitment and stalwart efforts of our staff and all the volunteers at PIFR as they strive to make this project a success.

As the weather heats up again we are asking for your vigilance in reporting all smoke or fires immediately through the 911 system. If there has been no substantial rainfall by the time this report is published we will be sitting on a tinder box. If that is the case we will definitely be counting on you to report those fires quickly so we have a chance to keep them under control.

Our prevention teams at the ferry terminal and farmers markets have done an amazing job educating residents and visitors again this year. Deputy Chief Mike Dine has once again demonstrated his commitment to fire prevention in managing that program. Special thanks go to all the volunteers that spent long hours on that hot pavement at BC Ferries.

Our PIFR volunteers have also been kept very busy looking after emergencies in the community. As of the 19th of August PIFR had responded to 142 emergency calls. This compares to 125 over the same period in 2013, a 13 per cent increase.

Forest Fire Threat Level

Burning is permitted
No permit is required
Regulations apply


Julie Gray

First Responder

PIFR Members Only

For any Emergency:

call 911


250 629-3321


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